Devious Licks: Has This Social Media Trend Gone Too Far?

A boys bathroom that was perceived to be closed off due to the Devious Lick trend.

A boys bathroom that was perceived to be closed off due to the Devious Lick trend.

Katie Stewart, Staff Writer

Social media has certainly proven its influence on teenagers ever since the “Devious Lick Challenge” blew up on TikTok and made its way into the walls of State High. Students are partaking in this challenge all across the country, and schools have been affected nationwide.

As harmless as a TikTok craze may seem, the trend is getting out of hand. Items ranging from books to toilets have been “deviously” stolen from schools. Soap dispensers have been ripped off of walls and thrown into the trash, and personal property, like phones, has been stolen as well. Students posting videos of themselves vandalizing school property makes it very easy for the perpetrators to get caught. The school can replace missing or vandalized objects, no matter how inconvenient, but a student can’t repair their track record.

Rightfully, school staff members have been trying to put an end to these recent acts of misconduct. On Sept. 16, the State High building administrative team sent out an email to all parents and guardians. The email specified that there will be disciplinary consequences if students choose to participate in this trend: “This is a very serious offense and is considered vandalism and theft of school property. Students who choose to participate in this behavior will be disciplined in accordance with our student code of conduct. In addition, students who record or post videos of others can also face disciplinary consequences.” Furthermore, the email also encouraged guardians to discuss the matters with their children so that the school can maintain its focus on learning.

Freshman Lanie Herlocher shared her thoughts about the missing objects around the school.

“I know a few people who have participated in the trend, and have stolen things like hand sanitizer, just little stuff… I still think it isn’t ok, no matter how big or small the lick is. Stealing from the school is just morally wrong,” Herlochersaid.

Over at Mount Nittany Middle School, new procedures are being implemented in order to control the issue. These restrictions have sparked a conversation amongst the parents, and they are not pleased. A Facebook post was posted on Sept. 28 stating that the TikTok challenge has led to there being only one bathroom pass per gender across all grades. The parents in the Facebook group explained their concerns, and all strongly believe that taking away children’s bathroom privileges was not the way things should have been handled.

“This is not limited to the middle school,” one parent said. “New policies have been put in place at the high school as well. Maybe a better idea would be to discuss with children the topic of vandalism and not destroying school property.” Most of the group has come to a consensus, and they decided to contact Principal Brian Brian Ishler about this issue.

However, a new trend has also been getting popular, angelic yields. Angelic yields are a rebuttal towards the devious licks. Instead of stealing, or vandalizing the school property, students do a sort of generous gesture that doesn’t harm anyone. For example, placing money in the soap dispenser, or cleaning up a mess instead of causing it to be a burden to the custodians. Unfortunately, this trend hasn’t been as popular, but it is still acknowledging that the devious licks have gone too far.